Familiar Faces of Period Drama: Downton Abbey edition

Do you ever watch a drama and wonder where you've seen that face before?

With the number of credits behind the cast of Downton Abbey totalling over 170 period films, it's likely that you've already seen them in another costume drama! (This beats the previous record held by the cast of Little Dorrit at 116 period films.) Here's a look at the cast with their movie list! (Films shown with an image are highlighted in bold.)

Maggie Smith (Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham)
Harry Potter
, From Time to Time, Capturing Mary, Becoming Jane, Ladies in Lavender, My House in Umbria. Gosford Park, David Copperfield, All the King's Men, The Last September, Tea with Mussolini, Washington Square, Richard III, The Secret Garden, Hook, The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne, A Room with a View, Evil Under the Sun, Death on the Nile, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Much Ado About Nothing, Othello, Clash of the Titans (1982)

Hugh Bonneville (Robert, Earl of Grantham)
Daniel Deronda, From Time to Time, Burke and Hare, Mansfield Park, Ben-Hur, Shanghai, Glorious 39, Lost in Austen, Miss Austen Regrets, Beau Brummell, Stage Beauty, Filth, The Cazalets, Doctor Zhivago, Iris, Take a Girl Like You

Elizabeth McGovern (Cora, Countess of Grantham)
The House of Mirth, Clash of the Titans, Agatha Christie's Poirot, A Room with a View, Daphne, The Flamingo Rising, The Scarlet Pimpernel, The Wings of the Dove, Wings of Courage, Racing with the Moon, Once Upon a Time in America, Ragtime

Jim Carter (Mr. Carson)
Cranford, Creation, The Golden Compass, The Secret Life of Mrs. Beeton, The Thief Lord, Modigliani, London, Ella Enchanted, Cromwell: Warts and All, Pompeii: The Last Day, Helen of Troy, Hornblower: Duty, The Way We Live Now, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Shakespeare in Love, Richard III, The Madness of King George, Black Beauty, Stalin, A Month in the Country, Lost Empires

Brendan Coyle (John Bates)
Lark Rise to Candleford, Allegiance, North and South, Conspiracy,
Rebel Heart, The Glass Virgin

Michelle Dockery (Lady Mary Crawley)
Turn of the Screw, Return to Cranford, The Courageous Heart of Irene Sendler, Hogfather

Samantha Bond (Lady Rosamund Painswick)
Emma, Marple, Lark Rise to Candleford, Agatha Christie's Poirot,
The Ginger Tree, Mansfield Park

Dan Stevens (Matthew Crawley)
Sense & Sensibility, The Turn of the Screw, Hilde, Marple, Dracula, Frankenstein

Penelope Wilton (Isobel Crawley)
Wives and Daughters, South Riding (upcoming), Marple, Margot, Doctor Who, The Passion, Pride and Prejudice, Iris, Victoria & Albert, Carrington, The Borrowers, Othello

David Robb (Dr. Clarkson)
From Time to Time, Garrow's Law, The Young Victoria, Sharpe's Peril, The Roman Mysteries, Elizabeth: The Golden Age, Harry Potter, Treasure Island, Parnell & the Englishwoman, The Deceivers, The Man Who Lived at the Ritz, First Among Equals, Wallenberg: A Hero's Story, The Last Days of Pompeii, Morte d'Arthur, Ivanhoe, The Flame Trees of Thika, Fanny by Gaslight, Hamlet: Prince of Denmark, The Legend of King Arthur, The Four Feathers, The Cedar Tree, I, Claudius, Romeo and Juliet

Joanne Froggatt (Anna)
Robin Hood (2009), Island at War, Lorna Doone

Phyllis Logan (Mrs. Hughes)
The Real Jane Austen, Agatha Christie's Poirot, Dickens, All the King's Men,
The Legendary Life of Ernest Hemingway, Another Time, Another Place

Robert Bathurst (Sir Anthony Strallan)
Emma, The Pillars of the Earth, Agatha Christie's Poirot,
Hornblower, The House of Elliot

Lesley Nicol (Mrs. Patmore)
Miss Marple, Hancock & Joan, The Grand, The Silver Chair,
The Lion, the Witch & The Wardrobe

Allen Leech (Tom Branson)
The Tudors, From Time to Time, Rome, Benedict Arnold: A Question of Honor

Charlie Cox (Duke of Crowborough)
Stardust, Moby Dick, Glorious 39, Casanova, The Merchant of Venice

Kevin Doyle (Molesley)
The Tudors, Foyle's War, Agatha Christie's Poirot, The Libertine, A Midsummer Night's Dream

Bernard Gallagher (Bill Molesley)
Photographing Fairies, Cadfael, Countdown to War, The Borgias (1981),
The Duchess of Duke Street, The Eagle of the Ninth (1977)

Brendan Patrick (Evelyn Napier)
The Curse of King Tut's Tomb
(Coincidentally, Highclere Castle, the setting of Downton Abbey has ties to the Egyptian king
since the 5th Earl of Highclere discovered the tomb of Tutankhamun in 1922)

Read more:
Meet the Characters (Character profile & interview with actor)
Links to picture galleries, videos, etc
PBS MASTERPIECE presents Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey Photos: Courtesy of Milk Publicity


  1. You have forgotten that Maggie Smith was in Clash of the Titans (the original 1982 film) as the goddess Thetis.

  2. I. Can. Hardly. Wait. For. Sunday. Night!!!!!!!

  3. Is it me or do Penelope Wilton and Phyllis Logan look like twins, separated at birth?

    You forgot Lovejoy...

  4. estetyka and sheila,
    thanks for mentioning those films!

    I can't wait for you to see it!

    I don't see the similarities myself but now I'll probably look closer!

  5. I don't think everyone can act period. Some actors are just too modern to pull it off so it's hardly surprising you often stumble upon the same faces. Maggie Smith, for instance, is brilliant at period drama.

  6. Wow, looks like a GREAT cast! I haven't heard much about this series yet... I esp. like Bonneville & Coyle!

  7. Have seen most of these movies and love them...... But Lovejoy was 1986, don't know that I'd really call that a period piece.

  8. Kim, thanks for pointing out! I didn't notice!



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